Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a Williamson County-based anti-Muslim activist, has been reappointed to the state’s Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission. She was appointed in 2021 and will continue to serve through June 2025. The commission is responsible for recommending textbooks and instructional materials to the Tennessee Department of Education.
Cardoza-Moore is known for her efforts to stop the construction of a Murfreesboro mosque. Additionally, as Stephen Elliott reported for the Scene in 2021, Cardoza-Moore spread misinformation about the 2020 election and urged people to “defend our Constitutional Republic” ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. She unsuccessfully ran in the Republican primary for state House District 63 this year but was beaten by Jake McCalmon.
Cardoza-Moore has made a number of controversial statements, including espousing fringe beliefs about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, claiming the United States was “founded on the Torah,” claiming that 30 percent of Muslims are terrorists (which she later denied) and more.
Cardoza-Moore also published an opinion piece in The Tennessean this year that wrongfully accused Nashville Public Library director Kent Oliver of promoting “pornographic, racist, antisemitic and anti-American content within the walls of the Nashville Public Library.” Scene contributor Betsy Phillips shared her thoughts on that piece, as well as the questionable spending habits of Cardoza-Moore’s nonprofit Proclaiming Justice to the Nations.
Her reappointment follows a new law granting commission the authority to ban books in local districts.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations decried the reappointment in a press release.
"Students in Tennessee should be able to attend school and obtain an education without being distracted by political extremists or hateful bigots,” says CAIR’s national deputy director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a conspiracy theorist whose anti-Muslim rhetoric has endangered Tennessee families, has no business serving on any government commission, especially one that can influence what students read in their textbooks.”